The American vocalist, Marilyn Keller, made her first appearance with the Danish jazz band for a 2005 summer tour of Scandinavia. Keller is a native of Portland, Oregon and when she is home, she sings with the city’s Black Swan Jazz Band. Sunday morning finds her gracing the choir loft at Portland’s Augustan Lutheran Church.
Miss Keller kicks off the set with an up-tempo rendition of "Do Lord," a traditional piece that received accolades when recorded by Jane Russell, Della Russell, Beryl Davis and Connie Haines in 1954. She follows up with a stirring, emotional reading of "In The Garden," a favorite among New Orleans bands for decades.
While this album contains a number of everyone’s gospel favorites including "He Touched Me," "Amazing Grace." and "His Eye Is On The Sparrow," a few tunes are new to my ears. Derek Winters delivers the vocal on "Saint Jude’s Hymn" and Keller returns with Schubert’s "Sanctus." "Sweet Fields" is afforded a special arrangement by the band.
The band’s rendition of "How Great Thou Art" display’s Marilyn Keller’s powerful voice and the instrumentalists’ fine command of the New Orleans style. It ranks as a favorite by this writer, followed closely by the singer’s rocking version of "Closer Walk."
New Orleans Delight’s newest CD does not disappoint. Derek Winters is an asset to any traditional jazz outfit and applies his own twists to the style set down by Bunk Johnson and Kid Thomas in years gone by.